Want to Make a Big Change? Start Small.

I read a research study during grad school: Morbidly obese patients enter a weight loss program. On the first day, they are told to change 3 really basic habits and report back in 7 days.  Suggestions included sleeping on a different side of the bed, rearranging furniture, showering at a different time of day, commuting to work via an alternate route. The participants came back after a week trial, many confused. How did this relate to weight-loss?

Those who could not alter 3 routines were the ones who never lost weight. The rationale? If you can’t change a simple behaviour, a complete lifestyle overhaul is not realistic. One possible conclusion from the study was to eliminate these participants upfront- why waste the energy?

-A wise proverb (that I just made up)

-A wise proverb (that I just made up)

Here’s the deal:  I have big dreams of living in foreign countries, getting a phD, impacting my community, and doing professional photography- – If I am not comfortable making small adjustments in my life, how can I actually expect to be successful accomplishing these massive goals?

The challenge to myself is to identify my comfort zone and push the boundaries- with baby steps. Invite someone new over for tea, cook a new cuisine of food, enter a photo competition, mend a broken relationship, join a book club, volunteer, or submit a resume for a new job.  And who knows? I might discover a new version of myself. Me 2.0.

I don’t want to celebrate my 50th birthday and be the same person I am today. I am intentionally seeking out new surroundings, beliefs, habits, and opportunities– in small ways– so when big changes are on the horizon, I’ll have had practice adapting and taking risks.

small change

My “step out of the box” recently?

  • For one, this blog. It takes guts to be vulnerable.
  •  I started a new course at our Church
  • I joined the gym
  • I created  opportunities to spend time with people that I don’t know
  •  I’m working on a portfolio for photography

Maybe I’ll keep this up, maybe I’ll quit them, that’s all apart of the journey. What are your major life goals? What ways can you practice getting there?

Want to make a big change? Start small.


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